A collection of historic reviews and articles on Sherlockian theatrical performances from contemporary newspapers.

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The Speckled Band (Arthur Conan Doyle)
(Florence Churchill Repertory Company)
March w/o 4: Queen’s Theatre, Dundee, Scotland

(Information above on performance dates is derived from newspaper archives and is therefore likely to be incomplete.)


The difficulty of presenting famous characters of fiction in the flesh is the difficulty of finding anyone who suits the part as the public has conceived it.

In “Sherlock Holmes – The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” played by the Florence Churchill Repertory Company at the Queen’s Theatre this week, Val Gurney is remarkably consistent as Sherlock, and though “my dear Watson” is rather astonishing at first in the well made up Pierre Mirrel his doctor is very amusing and natural.

The story of “The Speckled Band” is well known, concerning the activities of a rather insane Anglo-Indian surgeon, his mysterious housekeeper, and native servant, and the strange death of one of his step-daughters.

The other girl begins to fear for her life, too, and enlists the help of Watson and Holmes, who solves the murder and plot in his usual brilliant and highly thrilling manner. The climax is most exciting and very dramatic.

Val Gurney puts many good touches into his part, and plays well with Pierre Mirrel as his faithful ally and assistant. J. Scott Leighton makes the difficult part of the murderous Dr Rylott convincing, and Florence Churchill is very good as the threatening housekeeper.

Seymour Rose plays Ali, the native servant, with Alfred Stretton excellent in the part of the old and terrified butler. Lisette Demant gives some fine acting as the girl Enid, being very natural; and Mysie Monte is very good as Mrs Armitage, the village grocer, one of the jury at the inquest.

Betty Fowler plays very well as Holmes’ page boy Billy. Her acting and her voice are improving with confidence and experience.

The play is a light and very enjoyable thriller.

Dundee Courier, Tuesday 4 March 1930
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk